Level 4 (15 credits)

This module introduces students to poetry in English. Working across a wide range of examples, from the ancient through the contemporary, it introduces poetic genres, techniques, and key theoretical debates in the history of poetry. It will help you to make sense of how poetry works, why poets make the choices they do, and how poetic experiences emerge from the conjunction of sound, rhythm, form, the body, lyric subjects, performance, readers and listeners.

Preparing for this Module and Approximate Costs

Why take

  • enrich your understanding of poetry and poetics: the study of poetry, its techniques, devices, language, rhetoric, and history.
  • draw on some of the technical vocabulary you already know, and learn some new terms.
  • learn to read poems more closely, thoroughly, and passionately, making use of your body, your languages, and your own history to understand poems as a very particular way of THINKING and of FEELING.
  • experiment with moving away from feature-spotting towards a deeper understanding of how poems work as poems.
  • enrich your reading of all other kinds of texts through your new skills in close reading poems.
  • become a more profound, more intuitive, more expert reader by encountering a wide range of poems, across thousands of years of human language use.
  • listen to a contemporary poet perform and talk about their work.
  • learn to enjoy misunderstanding and not-yet-understanding, which are among the very particular and important kinds of thinking that happen in poetry.
Learning Context Lecture + Seminar
Semester One
  1. Commentary (1000 words), 40%
  2. Portfolio (2000 words), 60%
Mode of reassessment Standard